An IT’S THE GUNS, STUPID Column by Elliot Fineman, CEO of NGVAC
By refusing to accept NGVAC’s challenge to establish whether a concealed weapon actually offers self-defense with mutually agreed upon terms, you have actually answered the question: it doesn’t.
Why else would you refuse for two years, NGVAC’s invitation to test the “self-defense” argument which is behind all concealed carry laws?
Our challenge would cost you nothing if you won and possibly even make ISRA money. To fund the test, both NGVAC and ISRA would post $50,000 earnest money, which would be returned to the winner. If the test cost less than the $100,000 raised, the winner would also keep the remainder of the funds.
This challenge, if you won, would inspire more people to seek concealed carry permits, convert gun skeptics including lawmakers, sell guns for manufacturers and substantiate concealed carry laws. Why have you refused to participate and even refused to acknowledge the challenge?
Certainly you believe in concealed carry. In the past four months in the Illinois legislature, you have opposed banning concealed weapons in churches, on public transportation and in public or private hospital or hospital affiliates, mental health facilities, or nursing homes. Remind me why again.
Before Illinois’ Concealed Carry law took effect this year, you issued a press release announcing that the “Illinois State Rifle Association’s 11th annual NRA Day Range Open House will be the perfect place for citizens to try out the latest in concealed carry handguns. Representatives of the nation’s leading firearm manufacturers will be on hand to answer questions about concealed carry handguns and help point consumers toward the pistol or revolver best suited to their particular situation.”
When ABC’s 20/20 tested gun self-defense in a 2009 special called “If I Only Had A Gun” and carriers failed miserably at defending themselves and others, gun advocates screamed “no fair.” They claimed the test did not provide a level playing field. Now, given a second chance to prove that carrying a concealed weapon provides self-defense, ISRA ducks the challenge.
Of course if concealed weapons provided self-defense, no law enforcement officers would ever be killed. The element of surprise, not lack of carried weapons, is the reason so many leaders from President Reagan to Pope John Paul II have been shot.
Thank you, ISRA for refusing to participate in a concealed weapon self-defense challenge. You have proved you know concealed weapons do not offer self-defense. We will carry out the test at a police training facility anyway–which is where police officers undergo simulated real situations. No one can doubt the “fairness” of that test. In addition to your admission that carrying guns in public does not provide self-defense (the only reason you did not accept our challenge) we will provide the proof to the public and the politicians to see. Stay tuned.